There was a question as to whether or not Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe would be given jail time as a result of a DUI conviction violating the terms of his probation on a felony batter charge picked up back in 2009.
But as reported by Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune the end result of Mbakwe’s hearing in Florida was an additional two years probation and no jail time.
To say the least Mbakwe was relieved when Miami-Dade judge Jose Fernandez rendered his verdict.
“I’ve been thinking about this since July 1. It’s been stressing me and my family out and I’m glad it’s over. … I’m just going to stay on the right track now; no more slip-ups. The judge gave me another chance and I’m grateful for that. … I’m just going to show everybody they were right in supporting me.”
Fernandez also warned Mbakwe, who will also have to complete 20 hours of community service every month until the completion of his probation, that this could be his last chance when it comes to the legal system.
Mbakwe will also attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings three times a week and can have no contact (direct or third person) with the victim, who also received restitution for the treatment of her broken cheekbone.
How much money the victim ultimately receives has been set on a sliding scale based on Mbakwe’s future earnings as a professional according to Rayno’s report.
As for Mbakwe’s immediate future at Minnesota, it seems as if there won’t be any additional punishment coming from the basketball program.
A U of M spokesperson said Thursday that Mbakwe’s status on the team would not be changed if additional probation was the outcome of Friday’s hearing.
To say the least Mbakwe is extremely fortunate to have received more probation, and while his words about staying on the right path sound good he’ll need to show it with his actions.
Can he do it? Not sure, but hopefully Mbakwe gets the job done off the court.